Sep 30, 2010

Painting: ELECTRIC

ELECTRIC was created in 2003, during my final year in University. I'm quite pleased with how the dark lines turned out in this piece.

Sep 29, 2010

Spacial Awareness

Just like a fat cat, when I was pregnant I learned that I could no longer use my whiskers as a guide to fit through tight spaces. I started scouting out where the bathrooms were the moment I walked into a mall, new restaurant or clients office.  I kept an eye out for the closest elevator, 'mom & moms to be' parking spaces, water coolers. I started to improve my spacial awareness.

Being pregnant prepares you on so many levels for being a new mom. When I'm out in public with my baby I am constantly scanning the scene for all of the above, plus keeping one eye on the nearest creeper/sick person/strange lady who is gearing toward grabbing my baby's germ free hand for a little squeeze. Please people - touch her sock covered foot, not her hand that will soon go into her mouth!

In all of this environmental monitoring, I have also become aware at how many people don't know a frig about what's going on around them. Now, I promised myself I wouldn't use this blog as a place to rant, but I need to get this off my chest. For those of you sans baby, being out & about with baby is similar to trying to merge onto the highway with 100m to go and the dudette in the slow lane just won't let you in. Sometimes it's pretty frustrating.

Like this week, for example, we went to a Starbucks where they don't have a handicap door button. Did the older lady in front of me hold the door as I awkwardly tried to leave with a car seat in one hand and latte in the other? Of course not. At the grocery store: did the cashier hurry up talking to her friend so she could ring me through as my baby was obviously crying in line? Of course not. Driving in my quiet neighbourhood: did the guy behind me stop honking for me to drive faster when he noticed the big "baby on board" sign in my back window? Of course not.

Now, I can forgive my paper boy for chucking the news at my front door, which causes Mason to bark, which wakes Madelyn up from her most difficult 4pm nap, which interrupts my Y&R retrieve, which means Mark walks in the door to an upside down smile. But, I have a hard time forgiving these people who aren't getting anywhere ahead by playing ignorant to my baby in tow.

I know I'm far from perfect in this regard, but at least I'm trying. I'm trying to stop running over people's toes with my stroller wheels (sorry people of Manhattan). I'm trying to have better timing so Madelyn doesn't start wailing for a feed out in public (sorry people at TD bank that one day). I'm trying to be a better driver (sorry everyone who has ever driven behind me).

Big sigh. I feel better now getting this off my chest.


Today we are going Toy Shopping with Joelle and her mommy. Never to early to start Christmas shopping! At least today we will be at a place with majority moms & babies. So, as long as I don't bump wheels with too many moms it should be a good day. (Note to self: work on improving side by side stroller driving skills).

Sep 27, 2010

Pregnancy Favorites
It was roughly a year ago that we found out we were pregnant with our 'baby bjorn'. I remember jumping on the bed at 7am so excited to announce the news to Mark. I had been anxiously waiting 5 weeks since the DOMLP to take the test. Yay - it flashed "1-2 weeks"!!! Such joy.

At that time, we were one of the first in our local couple friends to get preggers. Now everywhere we look there are growing baby bellies! Well mama's, this post is for you. Here were some of my pregnancy faves:

1. Motherlove Belly Oil: This was the best for preventing stretchmarks and belly itch, and it smells wonderful. I put it on in the morning and at night and never found it to stain my clothes. (Got mine at Evymama.)

2. Earth Mama Angel Baby Happy Mama Spray: I was really nauseous and barfy in the first 16 weeks. This blend of lime, ginger and flower oil helped my body & tummy relax at any time of day. Once baby arrives you can also use it as a little pick me up after a sleepless night (Also got mine at Evymama.)

3. Melaleuca Whitening Tooth Polish - Cool Mint: Every time, seriously every time, I brushed my teeth in the morning I gagged. I kept soda crackers next to the toilet to prevent the gag from turning into a full blown puke party. My Auntie introduced me to Melaleuca's tooth polish. It's made from all natural ingredients and has less of a foam than regular tooth paste. It also has a hint of Tea Tree oil, which is suppose to be really good for you. You can't buy this at a regular store ~ email me if you want some.

4. From the Hips, by Rebecca Odes & Ceridwen Morris: This Ultimate Pregnancy & Parenting book was given to me by my mommy-friend Jess. Just like it advertises, it's an uncensored, unbiased guide that tells it like it is. This one is also hubby friendly.

5. BellaBand: This nifty accessory helps you wear your regular pants through your second trimester (maybe even longer depending on your body type). (Also got mine at Evymama.)

6. Aromaforce Lavender/Lavande Essential Oil: I used this with a diffuser in my car to keep my tummy okay on my (ugh) daily commute. You can pick up essential oils at any natural store. Tip: only use 1-2 drops at first and if it isn't strong enough, add more. If you start with 10 drops you will arrive at work smelling like a natural...ew.

7. English Breakfast Decaf Black Tea: Once I was past 16 weeks I started craving my old morning routine: going to get cafeteria coffee with the ladies at work. My stomach still wasn't strong enough for decaf coffee so I gave decaf tea a try. Wow - it tastes just like regular tea! It quickly became my new ritual, especially on cold Toronto winter mornings. The good thing about tea is you can keep adding water and sip it all morning...beat that coffee!

8. Feathering the Nest, by Tracy Hutson: My MOH, Corinne, gave me this beautiful book about decorating the baby's room. It was a great inspiration for our cozy nursery. Hutson includes a palate for each of her designs that can be used as a colour foundation for your own room.

9. On Becoming Baby Wise, by Gary Ezzo & Robert Bucknam. CAVEAT: THIS BOOK NEEDS TO BE COMBINED WITH ANY BOOK ON ATTACHMENT PARENTING - IT IS VERY RIGHT WING. Madelyn started sleeping through the night (11pm-5:30am) at 2 months. By 3 months she was sleeping 9pm-6:30am. To be honest, this hasn't done wonders for my milk supply, but it has given me back my sleep. We followed this book to help with sleep routines, but also used a lot of attachment parenting principles for bonding, and just because we wanted to. Every baby is different so only you will know what's best for your baby and you. I'm just putting this out there since everyone seems to ask about it. I recommend reading Baby Wise before baby and, more importantly, your mommy brain arrives.

10. Foods: A pregnancy list isn't complete without mentioning food cravings. For fun, here were my cravings in chronological order:
  • Weeks 6-14: Apples (whole), applesauce (at 3am, 6am, 11am, 4pm), apple/walnut/green onion/leafy salad, Thai food, pickles 
  • Weeks 14-20: Clementines (4-6 per day, sometimes 10!), baby dill pickles, french fries, veggie sandwiches (cream cheese/pickles/lettuce/tom/cheddar)
  • Weeks 20-37: Naval oranges, chicken finger burgers with lots of pickles, poutine, pastry, ICE CREAM!!!!

Bonus: weird pregnancy truth:

I went through a phase mid-pregnancy where I spent a lot of nights resting on the love seat couch at the condo while our house was being reno'd. In full disclosure, I got addicted to Bubble Shooter. I can't believe I'm admitting this - so embarrassing! The thing is, you have to wait months for your baby to come and your mind gets restless while your body is exhausted...anyway, I quit once I beat the game, and I haven't played a single round since Madelyn was born.  So, if you find yourself addicted to a crappy Internet game while you're on your back with your belly in the air, just know it's normal :)

Sep 23, 2010


Update on Cloth Diapers:

2 out of 3 nights Madelyn has peed through her cloth diapers. What a pain in the butt. Lucky for me it doesn't wake her up in the middle of the night, she's just so warm & toasty in her Grobag, it's just such a drag to have to change a crib sheet. So, we are going to use Lila's mom's suggestion and go with Pampers at night.  I have also scraped pre-scrubbing the poo diapers and am just tossing them in the front loader and using the sanitize option. Everything comes out sparkling clean. Yippee.

Update on Alderwood Wives Book Club:

If you are not already following along with our September book YOU NEED TO. Secret Daughter: A Novel, by Shilpi Somaya Gowda. This one is a keeper. I am half way through and don't want it to ever end.

I found the compromise. They're called Jeggings. Even though Gwen Stefani's into them, I can't do it. Sorry fashionista's, I'm a laggard again.
ps. bought a new pair of TNA stretchy pants last week.

Update on The heartbreak of a Mini-Nursing Strike:

Case solved. My lactation consultant came over yesterday and it turns out Madelyn was never on a milk supply has just been sucking. It's okay though, she has me taking some herbalistic remedy that should have things flowing again in no time. I'm starting with Fenugreek and Blessed Thistle until the magic potion arrives. Bring on the donuts, my appetite is going to be huge!

Sep 22, 2010

September 22: What's in a date?

  • 1888 – The first issue of National Geographic Magazine is published
  • 1980 – Iraq invades Iran
  • 1981 – Erin M/O'D was born
  • 2003 – Some dude crosses the Atlantic Ocean in a wicker-basket hot air balloon
  • 2005 – Mark asks Hilary to go stead ♥
Our anniversary date has changed over the years from that cheesy first official date when Mark asked me to go steady, to our romantic central park engagement date, to our wedding anniversary. While we have decided only to celebrate one time a year (if it was up to me it would be all three) with dinner & maybe some flowers (hint: pink roses), I still love remembering the first time I knew our feelings were mutual. There is something so magical about the first steps to falling in love.

...Okay, enough with the mooshy stuff, sorry if I've made you hurl your morning latte. In honour of my special September 22nd memory, here are some of my faves from my h&m pre-engagement album:

Clockwise from top: Camping Indian Lake 2007; best night out in NYC with Neil & Jen 2006; Norwalk 2006; Jones Beach 2007; Yankees Game 2006; Cape Cod 2006; New Hampshire 2006; College ball Madison Sq Gardens 2007.

Sep 21, 2010

Word of the Day: LOCAVORE

I was at my friend Katie's yesterday and her savvy MIL introduced me to a really cool word I hadn't heard before: Locavore. "What does that mean?", I asked. "It's a person who eats only locally", she said. Got it - Herbivore, Omnivore, Locavore. Cool.

This guy is definitely a Locavore!
Wiki doesn't have a specific page dedicated to Locavore (yet). The search engine will redirect you to "Local Food" which pretty much sums it up:

Local food (also regional food or food patriotism) or the local food movement is a "collaborative effort to build more locally based, self-reliant food economies - one in which sustainable food production, processing, distribution, and consumption is integrated to enhance the economic, environmental and social health of a particular place"[1] and is considered to be a part of the broader sustainability movement. It is part of the concept of local purchasing and local economies, a preference to buy locally produced goods and services. Those who prefer to eat locally grown/produced food sometimes call themselves locavores or localvores.[2]

Since Madelyn was born I have been putting a small effort into this myself, though it probably deserves more. Here's what I'm trying to do to be more Locavore:
  1. Shop local Toronto farmers markets: We go regularly to the Sherway Market and it's pretty rad.
  2. Shop local butchers: I like to go to Rowe farms on Roncesvalles but there are tons in the city.
  3. My neighbour, Rika, introduced me to this cool delivery service. They have a discounted option if you go local with your delivery.
  4. Read Labels: This one is the easiest. Of course there are items that absolutely need to be imported (Italian Olive Oil, Kiwi, Mangoes) but a lot of essential cooking supplies can be sourced from our wonderful Province of Ontario.
  5. Plant a Backyard Garden: This is one of my projects for next summer (tips & ideas welcome). For now I just steal stuff at night from my neighbours amazing garden.

Sep 20, 2010

Painting: STRENGTH

STRENGTH was created in 2002, in 4th year University. It is one of my favorite paintings, not because I love the colour pink, but because it symbolizes passing through a difficult time in my life.

Sep 19, 2010

Baby Essentials 0-3 months

This deluxe special edition post is dedicated to Jen T & all of my pregnant friends. Here are my top 10 baby essentials for 0-3 months. I've focused on the things that aren't on a typical Layette list - things I found useful from a friend's reco or found shopping myself. Many of these items are related to BF since you pretty much spend 8 hours a day feeding in the first few months :)

1. Head Boppy: available at PBK. Retails for around $35 cdn. I use this in our stroller bassinet to protect Madelyn's head from bumps on the road. It's advertised purpose is to prevent flat head that's sometimes a result of the 'Back to Sleep' campaign. Please read product safety instructions before use.

2. Bebe au Lait Nursing Cover: available at specialty shops (18 in Toronto including my faves: Evymama, Baby on the Hip, Kol Kid, Li'l Niblets & Baby Sprouts and Moms to be and ...More). Retails for $40 cdn. I have the beautiful Capri print shown in this post given to me by my stylish friend Em. This unique nursing cover has a wire so you can see your little one latch but also keep your boobs private.

3. Nursing Pillow. My 2 faves are the Boppy (available at PBK, around $75 cdn for pillow & cover) and myBreastfriend (available at Evymama for $68 cdn). I received two Boppy's as shower gifts (thanks Jessica & Erinn!) and found it really helpful to have one in the nursery and the other downstairs. Em showed me the myBreastfriend, and it's pretty cool since it clips at the back so you can literally stand while nursing and it won't fall off. Pretty handy.

4. Bravado Nursing Bra and Tank: available at specialty shops. I have the Body Silk Seemless Bra and the Essential Nursing Bra Tank. Moms to be and ...More carries them for $50 and $55 cdn. Some hospitals also carry them for the same price. Bravado was recommended to me by my Lactation Consultant. For me, it's comfort and functionality is worth the $$ compared to other brands.

5. Organic Nipple Cream. Earth Mama Angel Baby natural nipple butter and Motherlove nipple cream are on my nightstand (thanks Mom!). Both are available at Evymama for $24 cdn and $15 cdn. Nothing nicer in the early days than softening your sore nipples with a product that's safe for baby and doubles as really good lip balm for you.

6. Little Twig Organic Baby Wash: Extra Mild Unscented & Bodymilk: Extra Mild Unscented. I picked some up at Baby on the Hip for around $15 each. I like this brand since it's organic, has a good lather, feels great, lasts forever, and Unscented means your baby will smell like your baby, and not like a bottle of soap. I can't wait until Maddy is ready for the bubble bath product!

7. Skin to Skin Baby carrier. I was gifted both the Moby Wrap (thanks Jean!) and Hotslings (thanks Jess!). Both are available for around $60 cdn. For us, Skin to Skin contact was essential in our bonding experience. It provided lots of positive energy for both baby and mommy and lessened some of the separation anxiety that can happen postpartum. The great thing about both of these carriers is you can keep using them from Infant to Baby to Toddler, which really decreases cost per wear.

8. Polka Dots & Stripes wall art. I read somewhere that babies love stripes and polka dots because their retinas aren't fully developed and the images jiggle. Before Madelyn was born I painted a mural in her nursery based on the pattern in her crib bumper. Not even realizing what I was doing, I painted a polka dot tree next to her change table. I swear every time she looks at this tree she smiles and squeals in delight. It's the cutest thing. If you're not into painting yourself, Indigo/Chapters carries Wee Gallery Infant Art Cards for about $12. Pin them up next to the change table and presto you've created a great distraction for diaper time!

9. Newborn Photo Memories. I just have to plug my new favorite photographer Kate Shebaz of Finding Forever Photography. She did such an amazing job on both our Maternity and Newborn photos from her home studio in Milton. Kate works on a referral basis so if you give her a call don't be afraid to mention my name.

10. Hand Knit Blanket. Madelyn was so blessed to receive three beautiful knits (thanks Mom/Monica, Marilyn/Cathy and Aunt Greta). She loves to cuddle with them, suck on them and stick her fingers into their holes.  I love the safety factor: she can breathe through it if she pulls it over her head. For this item you need to look to the older generation. I guess some of us better learn this skill so our future grand kids can enjoy this blessing!

Sep 18, 2010

Madelyn my hero

While I was suffering some major milk blockage last night (see yesterdays post), I brought Madelyn into bed with us to nurse it out. As I drifted in and out of sleep it was as if my little 4month old was my night nurse tending to my care. Everytime I was in pain she would look up at me, smile, and in some foreign angel language tell me it would be alright. Sweetest thing ever. This morning she continued supporting me until we got the darn thing out. Madelyn you really are my hero, I love you so much.

Sep 17, 2010

The heartbreak of a Mini-Nursing Strike

It started yesterday at our 10am feed and continued straight through to our last 8:30pm feed. Crying, lunging at the breast, pulling off the breast, making a funny face that said, "yuck, what are you trying to feed me, mom?". Oh the agony of a mini-breast feeding strike (sad face).

I did a bit of research and I think there are a few possible scenarios at play:

Maddy's inquisitive face
(Since I'm not going to post one of her rejecting the boob, lol!)
1. New food in my diet: We went over to our friends Laura & Dave's for a delicious dinner on Wednesday night. For the first time in ages I had Asparagus (which I love but always forget to buy). My diet is usually pretty consistent since I make a lot of our meals at home, so I wonder if Madelyn just wasn't digging the new strong flavour. That certainly would explain the funny face.

2. Teething already?: Madelyn just turned 4 months on Sunday. It seems a bit early but it could be possible. Most sites say the average baby teethes at 6 months. Some of the other signs of teething we are experiencing are drool and chewing on toys, but I hear that's also just normal for this age.

3. Distractions: We are at the developmental stage when everything in the room fascinates our little baby girl. I used to be able to nurse her anywhere. Lately, I've notice she pulls off when the TV is on, when someone is talking in the room, if I all of a sudden talk to someone other than her, if there's a change in lights, if Mason barks...etc.

4. Slower let down: I usually have over-supply issues with a fast let down (I'll have to blog about that another day), but lately I've been working hard at creating the right supply to meet her demand. I wonder if that has unintentionally developed a slower let down since there is less milk blasting out of my body?

5. Constipation: It's been 3 days since she had a poop. Lots of gas, no poop. I know it's normal for exclusively bf babies to only go 1-2x a week and that's her usual schedule. Since the fussiness is new this one's last on my list.

Luckily we had a really, really, good feed this morning at 6:30am (big sigh of relief). I always nurse in bed in the mornings while I sleep in and we linger for an hour or so. I know she got lots this morning since she stayed on for an hour (smiley face).  My plan is to try to minimize distractions today and nurse her in her room as much as possible.

I'm interested to hear if any other moms experienced a mini-nursing strike at this age, and what you did to get back on track? Feel free to post or email your info.
Happy Friday!

Some research sites for this post:

And some research Mark did to help with the situation:

Sep 15, 2010

Fall jeans or stretchy pants 4ever?

It's that wonderful time of year again when you pack away your Capri's and bring out your fave full length denim. But for me, that means 95% of my pants closet doesn't fit. Each day my black 3 length TNA stretchy pants battle it out with my black 4 length TNA stretchy pants. Ahhh! visions of my mom in 1988 keep popping into my head. You know the look - big baggy sweater, stretchy pants, perm and keds. My mom was Über stylish back in the '80s. I'm being serious, she was a hot single mama. But, do I really want to repeat that vision for Madelyn?

Last year I was only able to enjoy my fall denim ritual for about 6 weeks before my belly started to grow. I was able to use a BellaBand for the rest of the season, but that wasn't the same comfy fit of my jeans hugging my body. I was constantly worrying about my open fly being visible when the band would ride up, and I'm pretty sure that did happen one fall afternoon in Walmart. How embarrassing!

You hear all postpartum moms talking about it: "I'm NOT going to invest in the next size", "If I work out a few times a week I'll get back into my pre-pregnancy size", "I'm going to wait it out".  I started thinking about it hard this week. I actually really like my postpartum bod. Sure, I'm a couple sizes up, but who cares, I had a beautiful baby.

The thing I'm most torn up about is that my denim is a collection I've acquired over years of faves. Each pair has memories. Each pair works with a different look. What am I supposed to do? Retire them all to my bin in the basement labelled, "Cool retro jeans for Madelyn"; which is like the land of misfit toys as my daughter is in the 90th percentile for height and I'm a petite 5.3?

I guess as I near the end of this post I'm still undecided. I seriously do need to get off stretchy pants, at least take a break a couple times a week. But my heart is still torn for my old faves. Today, we have a play date at Yorkdale. Maybe if I'm feeling up to it I'll check out some new potentials while Mads has a stroller nap. Who would I really be cheating on anyway?

Sep 13, 2010

Alderwood Wives Book Club Review: The Wonder Spot

I started a book club this summer with some of the other moms & working gals in our 'hood. I was in a book club in CT (another fabulous idea from Jessica!), and it was so much fun I couldn't live without it up here in Canada. It's not so much the book gossip or feeling in tune with my personal Oprah that I love, it's just fun to be in a club and have a ladies night on my calendar once a month.

We had our second meeting last week to discuss our first book: The Wonder Spot, by Melissa Bank. I give this book 2 stars. boo. I am shocked to see that on amazon 95 reviews averaged 3.5 stars. Comments from our club meeting: "the book lacked substance", "nothing really happened", "it was like a flat road", "the main character was whiny", "anticlimactic". My personal main criticism is that the main character lets a lot of sh*tty people in her life. The entire time I was reading it I wanted to jump into the page and slap her across the face and scream, "Wake up, it's your life, no one else cares"... Anyway...the reason this book gets a 2/5 from me is because I actually finished it. Not just because I had to for book club; I really was hoping something exciting would happen. If I can say anything positive, I did enjoy parts of the authors style. She writes some pretty funny metaphors that had me lol.  If I didn't have mommy-brain this morning I would write some of them down for you. Oh well.

The club agreed we need something a little meatier for our next read, something like The Time Travellers Wife, by Audrey Niffenegger. So we decided on Secret Daughter: A Novel, by Shilpi Somaya Gowda. Hopefully this book will live up to it's amazon rating of 4.5 stars. So far I'm 18 pages in and loving it! Seems like it's going to be a real tearjerker for me.

Sep 12, 2010

Deck building, allergies & sisterly love

It has been a busy week and my allergies are driving me nuts! I want to assure all of my loyal fans that I have not forgotten about my blog (I still love blogging)...I've just been distracted. We had a wonderful - but TOO short - visit from my lovely big sis, Andrea, this week. She was travelling out East to take her oldest to St. Mary's in Halifax and was able to pop in for a visit on route back to Whitehorse.

Andrea has lived in Whitehorse for 17 years. Because of this many of my friends don't know much about my big sister. Andy has 3 awesome boys of her own and 2 great step kids (girl & boy). She is an inspirational mother for me. I've absorbed a lot from her over the years and it's really helped me feel more comfortable with my own baby. I love you big sis!

I thought I'd post a couple of my favorite pics of us in my post today. The first is of us in 1990 on our dad's boat, "The Goose", sailing somewhere outside of Kingston. The next is from last summer (2009) at Toronto harbour front.

In other news, Mark and his dad are still busy working on our backyard deck. The plan is to have the upper deck finished by October - Yay! We - correction, Mark & dad - will probably finish the lower deck in Spring 2011. I've really missed having a BBQ all summer and I am so excited it's all coming together.

Now if I can just find a breastfeeding friendly solution to my fall allergies :(

Bye for now...

p.s. Happy 4 month b-day Madelyn!!!

Sep 7, 2010

Painting: QUALITY

QUALITY was created in 2003, in my University days. I don't remember much about this painting. I was probably taking some sort of 'thinker' class, and this word is supposed to reflect quality vs. quantity...but who knows. Not one of my faves, but I do like the painted layers.

Sep 6, 2010

Painting: AMAZING

By popular demand (okay, 2/7 followers), I am going to start revealing the words in my old graff paintings. This first piece says AMAZING.

AMAZING was created in September 2001, shortly after 911. The event of terrorism in NYC gave me a renewed appreciation for life and humanity, as I'm sure it did for many people. At that time I was taking the GO train from Hamilton to Toronto for an internship I had at Yonge & Bloor. It was a rough commute ~ 1 1/2 hr each way. However, on a clear fall day that commute provides one of the most amazing sunrises I've ever seen. At about 7:05am the train departs Hamilton and you get an 'Amazing' view of the Defasco smoke stacks (left) and the city skyline (right) with the harvest sun rising over Lake Ontario.

Mommy Brain...effects of the "Cuddle Hormone"?

When I was 6 months pregnant, my co-worker told me to watch out for the "Mommy Brain" I would get after my baby was born. She said it was inevitable and that it would last for who knows how long. She has 3 kids under the age of 10 and still gets it from time to time. My response was always, "I'm sure everyone doesn't get that, I doubt it will happen to me". Ha! How I was wrong.

I suffer from Mommy Brain every day. Mark and I were at the mall having lunch and I asked him how his cucumber tasted when he was eating broccoli. Laundry sits in the dryer for 3 days and I wonder where my beige sweater is, searching the entire house resolving that I left it somewhere. Toast gets cold popped up in the toaster. I never finish a cup of tea. The list goes on.

Forgetfulness isn't the only symptom. I also get "sooo upset" (as Mark would say) when my brain is charged with focusing on more than one thing at a time.  I was always a wonderful Multi-tasker (thanks to being a waitress for 8 years) so it's upsetting when I can't complete 2 simple thinking tasks at once. I did some quick google/wiki research and it seems the culprit is Oxytocin (see Oxytocin defined on Wiki). It floods my brain every 7-8 times I breastfeed each day. It gives me this wonderful calming high - aka 'Cuddle Hormone' - but then it drops off and I turn into a prickly porcupine once Maddy goes down for a nap.

Luckily, it's no difficulty to concentrate on Madelyn. Motherhood has blessed me with the 6th sense to stay completely in tune with my baby's needs at all time. When I think of her my brain clears and I have a sharp focus like no other. When I think of other brain goes back to mush. And too bad little is left for poor Mason. He'll probably get fat this winter from all of the guilt biscuits I give him.

I love breastfeeding and plan to do it for all of my kids so it looks like I may be charged up on Oxytocin for a while. Having really supportive family and friends will help me through the forgetfulness but I do hope some of the other moody effects subside. Ideas anyone?

Lastly, here is a funny article I found that I'm sure many moms who suffer from this can relate to. I totally picture Madelyn telling me I'm stupid one day, lol.

Funny Article on Mommy Brain in Parents Connect

Sep 4, 2010

Labour Day Weekend Clean Out

We are putting the labour into Labour Day this weekend: Starting our deck, and cleaning out the basement storage room. Yikes! While in the basement today, I came across a bunch of my old paintings created 2000-2006. I'm posting them hoping it will inspire me to start painting again once our basement is cleaned out. I've posted about 1/2 below, I'll post the rest tomorrow. Enjoy!

p.s. Sorry for the horrible alignment...I need to watch a youtube video to figure that part out... :(

Sep 3, 2010

Cloth Diapers

I started cloth diapers 2 weeks ago with Madelyn. My sister, Andrea, my sister-in-law, Dawn, and our dear friends Troy and Chiharu each gave us sets of cloth diapers to get us started. We are using Jamtots and Bummis - both are highly absorbent, comfy, and sooo cute! Check out some of Madelyn's styles to the right.

I find it's easiest to use cloth at home and Pampers when we're out and about. In case you're interested in trying them with your baby, here are a few tips:

1. Keep a dry bucket near your change table to use for soiled diapers.
2. Prefold the inserts ahead of time so you can act fast.
3. Have 6-10 covers in stock. Sometimes they get a bit wet and smelly and need to be changed with the inserts.
4. Have enough cloth inserts to last 3 days so you only have to do laundry every few days.
5. As soon as there's a #2 take the whole package to the laundry room and rinse it out! I highly recommend the following stain removers to help with the job: Melaleuca PreSpot & Melaleuca Sol-U-Mel (all natural!)
6. If you have a fancy washing machine: wash over night so you can keep your energy bills low, add a rinse cycle, use the sanitize option, and either soak the diapers before hand or add a wet towel. If you have a regular washing machine make sure to use hot water and do a double rinse.
7. Only use a recommended laundry detergent to keep the diapers absorbent (see your diaper manual). Bummis has an intense list of recommend detergents here. However, I use Bio-Vert and I haven't had any residue issues so you should try what you have and see how it goes.
8. Change cloth diapers every 2 hours to keep baby nice and dry.
9. Hang diapers outside to dry, as sunshine is a natural sanitizer. (I haven't tried this yet but once we get a clothes line installed I plan to give it a try).
10. Make sure your baby's pants are extra big to fit the diaper bulk. Madelyn looks hilarious in 6-9 mos pants and 0-3 mos tops.

If you want to chat further about cloth diapering send me an email or fb msg.

The next trend I'm looking into for baby is "Diaper Free"...about potty training early. I'll post something once I read the book and give it a try.

Have a great weekend everyone :)

Welcome to my blog!

I spend too much time on facebook in the morning with my coffee, while my baby, Madelyn, has her first nap. It's getting old. I don't miss work AT ALL, but I do sort of miss having something to check online like email. I have subscribed to tons of junk mail so I wake up to an active inbox, but it only takes 1 minute to delete all of it and I'm back to facebook stalking. So, I am going to try blogging and see how it fits into my morning routine :)

This week one of my best friends, Jessica, started a really cool blog: As always, her creativity has inspired me (previous inspirations: the wedding, skinny jeans, the nursery, Madelyn's wardrobe). So, I would like to dedicate my blog to Jess, who has such a great creative influence on my life. Please check out her real blog and you'll see what I mean!

The theme of my blog is going to be keeping family and friends up to date on my new life as a FTM (baby boomers: that stands for 'full time mom'). I will probably write about baby Madelyn, our house renovations/decorating, my attempts at baking and cooking, adventures of Mason in his new HUGE backyard, and of course the love of my life, Mark...but you'll have to check back yourself to see what makes it up here (hopefully I've left you intrigued like a Friday episode of Y&R!)
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